Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Olympic Park

(The Peace Gate)

The goal was to get outside – so we followed the advice of a local magazine (Seoul Magazine).  They recently started a new column called “Seoul Walks.”  I love this idea of exploring small segments of the city on foot.

The first walk took us to Olympic Park.  Seoul hosted the 1988 Summer Olympics and it was a big success.  It was a big morale booster for the entire country, and some say it helped to usher in democracy.  I’ve never been to any Olympic events or an Olympic venue before, so I thought this would be interesting.

Along the walk to the park, there are little things that catch your attention.  Manhole covers painted with Olympic motifs and sculptures leading up to the magnificent Peace Gate at the South Entrance.  Underneath the gate, the Olympic torch still burns.  Behind the gate, flags from the 159 countries that competed in 1988 stand in a semi-circle.  Being there, it felt like you were stepping back in time.  You could imagine everything shiny and new more than twenty years ago.  You could imagine the park teeming with fans and athletes from all over the world.

(Flags of 159 countries)


(A good photo spot at the Peace Gate)

Walking through the park, of course you can see a number of the gymnasiums and facilities used for the Olympics, although you can’t go inside.  Still, walking the grounds in enjoyable.  There are large green areas, and that has turned this into a family park.  People are flying kits, riding bikes, and kicking soccer balls.  There are restaurants and refreshments.  It’s simply a good place to get outdoors and get some exercise.  There’s also a sculpture garden, and a few museums in the park.

(A picnic with a view of 
the swimming pool)

I just love exploring Seoul.  I love getting outside and at the same time being a tourist and taking in a bit of history.  So, we’ll be trying a few more “Seoul Walks.”  It really makes for a pleasant day.

 Getting to Olympic Park:  There are several options:
  • First, you can take Subway Line 5 (purple) to the Olympic Park station. 
  • To enter by the Peace Gate, take subway line 8 (pink) to Mongchontoseong.  Leaving Exit #8, you’ll see the giant gate in front of you. 
  • Finally, to try the walk as we did it, take Subway Line 2 (green) to Jamsil.  Walk out Exit #2 and go straight until you hit Seokchon Lake.  First, the walk calls for a leisurely stroll around the lake to your left.  You’ll see Lotte World on your right.  (The lake really has a pleasant atmosphere) As you reach the end of the lake, take a left and when you hit a major intersection, turn right.  You’ll see the Peace Gate in the distance.

1 comment:

  1. Love it! Lauren, your hair is getting so long! I cannot wait to hear about your travels.